test this Ann Morrison / Wisconsin

In a report from rural Wisconsin, Ann Morrison says she and her neighbours are suffering from decades of neglect as the local economy has been wrecked by neoliberal policies from both major parties. She calls for an FDR style New Deal and to stop blaming the poor for poverty.

Paul Jay

Hi, I’m Paul Jay. Welcome to theAnalysis.news. Please don’t forget the donate button, subscribe and share and so on. And we’ll be back in just a few seconds with Ann Morrison and a discussion about life in rural Wisconsin. 

A couple of months ago, I invited Ann Morrison, a viewer of theAnalysis.news to make a video comment after she wrote me an intriguing note. She made a video which you can find on our site and talked about why her neighbors in rural Wisconsin voted for Republicans and Trump and against the Democrats. Her comment struck a chord with our viewers, so I’ve invited her back to discuss the issue further. So first, a little bit about Ann. She’s a fifth generation native of Viroqua, Wisconsin. Her great great grandfather, Nathaniel, having been one of the town’s founders. At 18 she left, as did many of her peers, and attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison. After college, she spent a year in Southern California, then left the U.S. in 1985 for postgraduate work in the UK where she married and lived in East London. In 2004 she returned to her hometown in Viroqua, after losing her husband to pancreatic cancer, and she raised her daughter there. She’s been a contract worker for FEMA, traveling around the entire U.S. since 2010. I should add, as a contract worker, she was not entitled to health or retirement benefits and for many years she had no health insurance at all. She worked for FEMA during Katrina, both in Mississippi and New Orleans. She says she had a front row seat to disaster capitalism. So now joining us from rural Wisconsin is Ann Morrison. Thanks for joining us Ann.

Ann Morrison

Thank you. 

Paul Jay

So when you were in Katrina, you worked for the Army Corps of Engineers first and then for FEMA, but you were a contract worker. What did that mean?

Ann Morrison

I was classified as part time and temporary. So therefore, you don’t qualify for retirement or health benefits.

Paul Jay

So you’re working for the federal government, essentially, but you don’t have health insurance.

Ann Morrison

No, we don’t. There’s the Stafford Act, which started FEMA, and we’re Stafford Act employees and for some reason Stafford Act employees also cannot qualify to get into the federal government retirement pension. So no pension, no health benefits.

Paul Jay

So you’re civil servants without any of the rights and privileges of being a civil servant.

Ann Morrison

Absolutely, but they remind us. Craig Fugate, his first week in office, said that the disaster assistance employees were nothing more than temporary walk-ons. And a lot of these people had been working since 1979 when Carter set it up.

Paul Jay

Who said this?

Ann Morrison

Craig Fugate, who was a director that Obama put in. He was the director of FEMA.

Paul Jay

So you’re in the midst of this Katrina crisis. You yourself don’t have health benefits or much job security, I would guess, but you’re also working among some of the poorest people in the country.

Ann Morrison

Yes, when I was initially deployed down there it was the beginning of October in 2005 and we were in Mississippi right where the eye came in. So we were evacuated when that hit. And at Katrina, with the Corps of Engineers, I wasn’t really working with individuals like I did later with FEMA. We were building temporary public structures, like setting up trailers for schools.

Paul Jay

And as you started to get a sense of what the crisis was for people, both during Katrina and your other work for FEMA, you told me you spent a lot of time working in rural America all over the country, what did you observe and how did that affect you?

Ann Morrison

What I observed is there are a lot of people, large swaths of America, living in poverty, below fifteen thousand dollars a year. And poor people always live in the flood zones and they get flooded out. And when I was working for FEMA, the maximum grant was thirty three thousand and it was do or die or make it or break it if you got that four thousand dollars to replace your furnace so you could go on and live another day.

And at Katrina, it was just unbelievable. It was just post-apocalyptic in Mississippi. It was like somebody dropped a bomb. So I didn’t meet a lot of the people there. But one thing that struck me happened while I was rebuilding a school with temporary public structures, trailers. As a landscape architect, I was the quality assistance. I could handle that, but I’m not an engineer. I met one of the principals of the school who came in. We were supposed to wear steel toed boots on the job site, but here was this principal wearing sandals and I said, “I’m sorry, ma’am, you need to put shoes at least with tops on.” And I wasn’t trying to be like anal. And she goes, “These are the only pair of shoes I have right now.” And I was like “wow.” I can’t imagine. There was just so much death and it was just wild. And later on in early 2006, I was in New Orleans and it was so toxic and everyone was getting sick. The workers and I can’t imagine the people living there. It was just such a toxic stew. And what else I observed there was disaster capitalism. They have the prime contractor, which is the big guys on the top, and then they have the general contractor, and then they have sub-contractors. Sub-contractors don’t make much money. Generals do ok. Prime contractors make a lot of money.

Paul Jay

And your point was they were making money out of this disaster.

Ann Morrison

Indeed. And I have also worked for the nonprofit world briefly, a couple of years here in Wisconsin. Nobody was making that much money there.

Paul Jay

So when did you get back to Wisconsin?

Ann Morrison

The last time?

Paul Jay

You were traveling for FEMA, but you’d keep going back to Wisconsin. Then you’d hit the road and then go home again, is that?

Ann Morrison

It depended. When I worked individual assistance there’s busy disaster years and there’s slow disaster years. So it depends. During big disaster years like Hurricane Sandy, I was gone most of that year. And then in 2016 there was a whole bunch. 2016, 2017, I was gone most of those years as well. And then when I switched over to the public assistance side of it, I was gone most of the year.

Paul Jay

So when we talked last, we were talking about life in rural Wisconsin and how the area had changed. Why don’t we just talk a little bit about that again over the last few decades. How has your town and your county and area changed both in terms of people’s lives and politically?

Ann Morrison

Well, coming up we were an area, Lake Wobegon-ish. There were a lot of Norwegians here and I never really thought it was this ethnic until Garrison Keillor wrote that and I was like, “oh my God, we are distinct” because it was just so spot on. I know he’s had scandals since, but it was funny. We all loved it. It was an area of small dairy farms and farmers got milk subsidies. And we were a median household income of the United States and the shopping malls were just starting when I was growing up. But our in town we had like six grocery stores, five shoe stores, a dozen clothing stores, several hardware stores, three lumber yards. And all of it was like in this three block radius downtown. It was like the center of our universe. And all of us kids were just free range. We just ran around and we had no restraints. We just rode our bikes and went to the pool. We didn’t realize that everything was going to change. And I’m the youngest, So my parents were older. My father was born in 1911, so he graduated high school in 1929, a great year. A friend of his, James Durden, rode the rails out to California and picked fruit. James became like the mayor of Glendale. Dad came back and then came World War Two. Dad went in ’39 and then the National Guard. They were in New Guinea for a long time. And he was the sergeant of all the guys who are from around here. And New Guinea was brutal. He didn’t talk about it a lot, but I’ve heard secondhand from different vets. When he came back he was like a 118 pounds.

Paul Jay

What was his role during the war?

Ann Morrison

Master sergeant. They actually offered him officer, but he turned it down. He also was given a train ticket to go to the White Sox in the 30s and he never went to the farm camp. He was just that guy. But anyway, after that, these men, they just thought he was God’s gift. But anyway, the difference that I’m making is he grew up here. His father was a bootlegger, local bootlegger. He was running bootleg during Prohibition as a little kid. And they saw so much of an increase in the standard of living. My mother grew up in the country without running water or indoor plumbing or anything like that. She was a very attractive woman. She ended up going out to California during World War Two as well. And like Rosie the Riveter, she was not real pleased to get shoved back into the house. But their standard of living increased, especially for my mother, because they were hungry-poor. By the time they retired it’s like, man. They weren’t wealthy, but Dad bought his cars with a check, new cars. And they had pensions and healthcare and all the things, and I’ll never see that.

Paul Jay

And what were his politics?

Ann Morrison

He was a Democrat for the most part. But unfortunately, that Cold War mentality came in. During Vietnam, which split the country down the middle, my brother wanted to enlist. He’s 11 years older than I am and dad talked him out of it because he says you don’t want to do jungle warfare. So he went to college, college deferment. But I do remember my older brothers watching those ping pong balls on a Zenith black and white television in the basement with a popsicle stick stuck in it to turn it on so you didn’t give yourself electric shock. But we were watching the numbers with birthdates because it’s Viroqua and they knew everybody’s birthday. And they’re like, “Oh my god, so-and-so just got drafted.” And they were just sitting there. And there was just such anxiety. So that’s one of my earliest memories, watching that. And then, dad, of course, was into empire because bought the whole domino theory and the Cold War business, which is unfortunate.

Paul Jay

But he didn’t want his son to go fight for it.

Ann Morrison

I know, so hypocritical.

Paul Jay

What about your mother?

Ann Morrison

She stayed out of it. She was kind of a feminist before it was a thing, but she just didn’t want to argue about it and, God knows, I didn’t want to argue about it either because they were old. By the time Reagan came in, I was a freshman in college and my father was sixty nine, which doesn’t seem old now, but it seemed old then. It’s like, I’m not going to come home and fight with him about it.

Paul Jay

Did he switch to Reagan from being a Democrat?

Ann Morrison

Yes, he did. It was just so sad because his best friend was like Mr. Democrat of Vernon County. And we used to have the county Democratic fish fries at a cottage down on the Mississippi. There were hundreds of people there. But it was unfortunate. I just think all of the hard hats versus the hippies just ripped a hole between the working people in the country and the professional managerial class. But, that was the break right there. And the way my father saw it, it was like these rich college kids were telling him that he was stupid and bad. And I know a lot of Vietnam vets who came back to town had really bad experiences with that.

Paul Jay

Well, did he support Nixon or did he switch to the Republicans with Reagan?

Ann Morrison

He went back and forth. He was just getting older and just went for Reagan. Nixon was elected in 1972 and I was 10, so I don’t know. I wasn’t paying attention in fifth grade who dad voted for.

Paul Jay

But that’s more the Vietnam War.

Ann Morrison

And I know he voted for Carter the first time in ’76.

Paul Jay

So how typical is your dad of your neighbors? 

Ann Morrison

Well, things have changed so much. My dad, they’re all dead. That whole World War generation is gone and I miss them because they were fun. I was gone from Viroqua from 1980 to 2004, for the most part, so everything changed.

Paul Jay

This is when you went to England?

Ann Morrison

Well, I went to college in Madison. I spent one year in Orange County. And I thought “I hate this is.” It was like you are what you drive. And everyone was mean to me because I had a 1977 orange Pontiac Ventura, but it had fifty thousand miles on it. There’s no way I’m buying a new car, this is paid for. So I didn’t fit in. And I’d think back, I could have bought a house then, but I’d spend the rest of my life trapped in this smog, paying for a house. And I hated it there. And I didn’t want to keep up with the Joneses on material things because that’s just not the way I was brought up. And so I thought to hell with it and the first chance I got I went to London. I went there and everybody had less money. Thatcher was in, but it hadn’t completely taken over everybody’s brain.

Paul Jay

Well, after living in London, why do you go back to rural Wisconsin?

Ann Morrison

Well, Adrian died and they say don’t make big decisions until you wait six months, but I did. And then I just kind of got trapped here because when we got married, you could not have dual citizenship. You had to pick whether you were a US citizen or a UK citizen. So I had permanent residency. So I came back and my daughter was about eight, I suppose, and I just got trapped here. And it was OK for a while. Go along, get along. I kind of slid out of politics because it was the Iraq war and I just didn’t want to listen to stupid stuff. I listened to NPR and all that kind of stuff. I mean, I believed in socialized health care. Initially when I went to the U.K., I was doing work and getting paid at Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, which is kind of like the Mayo of the U.K. And I was a big believer in the NHS. And everyone I worked with, everyone who was around, nobody could imagine anything different. And coming back here and you’re having a fight with somebody about the ACA. I just couldn’t listen to the stupidity and I did listen to NPR until it got really terrible and just kind of slid out. And, I knocked a few doors for Obama in 2008. I didn’t have high hopes. People would say, “Oh, you’re a liberal.” Well, I’m several steps to the left of liberal, but you can say that, I guess.

Paul Jay

So to what extent do you get involved in these kinds of political, social discussions with your neighbors now?

Ann Morrison

Well, we all got excited in 2016. I got activated with Bernie in 2015. In Wisconsin politics, I got involved after Scott Walker enacted Act 10. And as I said before, there were a hundred thousand people in the streets of Madison every weekend in the winter of 2011. And these were middle aged teachers and firefighters and cops for labor. It was the Koch brothers. They just spent so much money, they just took over. Labor had already been compromised and they convinced all these people that teachers and state workers, who were still getting a decent living, were the enemy while standards of living dropped precipitously because of the farm crisis and because of deindustrialization. And one thing that’s kind of funny was that while I was actually on a deployment I was on Facebook and I saw there was an Occupy Viroqua site.

Paul Jay

What is there about 4000 people in Viroqua?

Ann Morrison

Yeah, when I was growing up, it was three thousand seven hundred and thirty nine, but it’s a little over 4000. We’ve been gentrified. We have a Waldorf school, so we have all sorts of upper class people from the Midwest flocking here for the small town experience. And they all think all the locals are really stupid and redneck because that’s what they’ve been told.

Paul Jay

So you got involved in Wisconsin politics when the governor was trying to get civil servants to, more or less, pay for their own healthcare. And there was quite an opposition to it, as you say, tens of thousands of people.

Ann Morrison

A hundred thousand people several weekends. I mean, it was huge.

Paul Jay

So what happened to all that? Where did that momentum go? How does Wisconsin go from 100,000 people protesting to a state of which large portions at the very least vote Republican or vote Trump?

Ann Morrison

Well, we were always kind of a blue purple state anyhow. I mean, in 2020 we just tipped over back to Biden. In 2016, we were Trump. In 2012, Obama. 2008, Obama. 2004, Kerry.

Paul Jay

But a lot of those people who voted for Obama, voted for Trump. Oh, yeah. So how do you explain what they went through to go from Obama to Trump?

Ann Morrison

Well, Obama campaigned on populist economic rhetoric. So did Trump. Economic populism. Left, economic policy, redistribution policies. And poor people want that. They don’t like identity politics. I mean, most poor people don’t care about identity politics and that’s what the Democratic Party is now. Who understands Wall Street, who understands financial capitalism? But, you know, I’ve gotten little snippets from Thomas Piketty. I listened to the whole audio book, not that I understood it, but one thing that really struck out was the whole concept of having two ruling class parties, the Democrats are the brahmin elite and the Republicans are the merchant elite. And Michael Moore was the one who predicted in 2016 in Missouri that they’re going to just give a big finger to Hillary because she just represents the highest areas of GDP (as she said later) and just say we want something different. We want Trump. I mean, the whole system of global finance capital is pretty obvious to me and to every poor person out there that something is wrong and it’s got to change. Because for someone like me who grew up and never had a lot of money, I never even thought I was working class until I went to college and met rich kids. I’ve talked to different Lutheran ministers “Yeah, I didn’t know I was poor until I went to college.” It was like, yeah, neither did I. So that’s the first introduction to classism I guess I got. Maybe I was here idealizing something that was long gone.

Paul Jay

The neighbors of yours, some of whom would have voted for Obama and then became disillusioned. Are they still, in my opinion, illusioned with Trump and the Republicans. And I certainly understand why they got disillusioned from the Democrats, there’s every reason to. Why are they still illusioned by Trump and the Republicans?

Ann Morrison

Because they hate the Democrats. Because the Democrats give off the impression that they look down on them. And they do. But a lot of these people voted for Bernie in the primaries. Every county in Wisconsin, 2016, except for one went for Bernie.

Paul Jay

If Bernie had been the Democratic candidate, do you think he could have beaten Trump in Wisconsin?

Ann Morrison

I do. I know people think I’m delusional, but yes, I do. I believe it. And I know there’s plenty of people who are far more politically astute who would say, “No, he wouldn’t. We have to rebuild labor, the power of labor. We can’t do it through electoral politics.” It’s just like, OK, let’s rebuild the labor movement out of what? I’ll be living on a thousand dollars a month with Social Security and that will never happen in my lifetime. So that’s nice to say that if you’re an academic, but it sucks for us. I’m sorry, I hate to be so cynical, but sometimes I want to take them and shake them.

Paul Jay

But they are doing electoral politics and in some cases winning. They’ve had some breakthroughs.

Ann Morrison

A lot of good it does us here.

Paul Jay

Well, what would it take to get something going there?

Ann Morrison

I don’t know. I mean, honestly I would like to see a real new deal, a real redistribution. I would like to see federal make-work jobs. I mean, this whole infrastructure bill, in 2017 the estimate was like four point six trillion dollars just to update the infrastructure. And I have seen this working for FEMA and the public assistance. The infrastructure is just so shot. I mean, I go to these little tiny towns, hollowed out towns in Nebraska or whatever, and it’s like they can hardly claim anything because the only piece of equipment in this one township was a riding lawnmower. Actually, that was in Missouri. But the infrastructure is shot, their septic system is shot, but it’s deferred maintenance, so they don’t qualify. And so when FEMA comes, we try to get every bridge they have, whether it was damaged in that disaster or not, fixed because this is their chance to get some money because they’ve been so starved of money to rebuild the infrastructure. So, I mean, what would it take in Wisconsin? I don’t know, another WPA, another CCC, something like that.

Paul Jay

These are the FDR New Deal work programs.

Ann Morrison

Well, yes. A commitment to rebuilding our towns and our infrastructure and not telling everyone who stayed here that they’ve made poor personal choices and deserve to live in poverty for the rest of their lives because they don’t have the proper credentials. Well, I’ve come across it because my bachelor’s degree from the United States is in analytical chemistry. So that won’t get you a job, especially when you’re older and you haven’t used it for ages. But my British qualifications were as a landscape architect. We work in all of the EU, anything that was once in the Commonwealth. I could work in Canada, but not in the United States. Doesn’t come, can’t do it.

Paul Jay

Have you ever thought of running for office yourself?

Ann Morrison

Years ago, people always say “Ann, run for mayor.” But I don’t know if I have what it takes because at this point I’m tired, I’m old, and I am angry. And the whole Democratic Party is just so brainwashed into this neo-liberalism and identity politics. I just don’t think I could stomach it. I’m just too pissed off. I really am. And they wouldn’t back me anyway. 

Paul Jay

Well, you can run like Sanders did, in some ways against the Democratic Party.

Ann Morrison

Well, I hate committee meetings and such. I am not suited for political office.

Paul Jay

Among your friends and neighbors, are there people that buy into the Qanon view of things and this sort of extreme Trumpism? And if there are people, do you talk about any of this kind of stuff?

Ann Morrison

Well, you don’t want to go out and have fights with people about the particulars. But just talking to them, they are like me and they know that the system is broken and they want change. And Qanon is nuts, but how about Russia-gate? Come on, pick your conspiracy. Maddow or Tucker Carlson. Pick your team and root for it. They’re both stenographers for the ruling class. And with my Trumpy neighbors, I had the benefit of living my most formative adult years in east London. They don’t have really well defined politics, they just know that this isn’t working and they want change. That’s why they voted for Sanders, that’s why they voted for Obama because of his populist rhetoric. That’s why they voted for Trump. And we flipped out because Trump was so bad, and they just kind of switched back to the Democrats just to save the post office and stuff.

I have a neighbor across the street. She’s a nurse, but her husband is a Vietnam vet and her son is a cop. They stuck the Trump sign out. I’m not going to fight with them about it. But she was talking about the anti-vaxxers. And she kind of looked because I always had all the Bernie signs in my yard which got ripped off actually after he dropped out. And I don’t know if it was the Democrat or Republican who did it. Blue MAGA or Red MAGA stole my Bernie sign, but that’s an aside. But she said, and she’s a nurse, “All of these liberals here won’t get vaccines.” And because we have this whole Waldorf community and they’re very strange and libertarian, there’s a bunch of anti-vaxxers. They are the anti-vaxxers in this town. The wealthy white Waldorf people with money who come here and live on trust funds. And I remember when they first started coming in, it was the 90s, I had come home to visit my parents. My mother goes, “They seem nice enough, but none of them seem to work. What do they live on?” And I said, “Mom, it’s called a trust fund.” And I had to explain to her what it was because she had never met people who didn’t have to work for a living.

Paul Jay

How badly did covid affect your area?

Ann Morrison

In what regard?

Paul Jay

Well, either in terms of deaths or economically.

Ann Morrison

Well, I mean, it’s still Wisconsin. We’re crippled and bleeding, but it’s not Texas. I don’t want to be mean about any state, but we’re not doing terribly. Economically, yeah, we lost several restaurants, one of the last dive bars in town, which was a tragedy. And I’ve been on unemployment. There wasn’t a huge amount of deaths, it’s not very densely populated. And like I said, it’s Lake Wobegon. Everybody’s got their masks on. They were polite.

Paul Jay

All right, I’m going to stop it here. And then sometime sooner than later, I’d like to do this again and talk more about what you think a new New Deal would look like.

Ann Morrison

One of the things I wanted to say is I deactivated my Facebook account. I was sick of it anyway, but after Bernie dropped out all of these vote blue no matter who people were just savagely attacking me. And they were just so mean and dreadful. It’s like, do you understand for a person like me, the difference between Biden and the difference between Bernie is the difference between having hope and not having hope. With Bernie, who knows what would have happened, but the idea of having a retirement, the idea of having enough money to live on, the idea of having socialized health care. It would just take this knot out of my stomach that I’ve had in it since 2006. And it’s terrifying to live that way. And I guess that’s what I have in common with my Trump neighbors. And everybody views them as these strange rural Americans. It’s like some David Attenborough documentary where “let’s go look at these weird natives who live in rural areas.” And, the Texas grid is destroyed by neo-liberalism and privatization, which was started with Reagan. But Clinton stuck the final nail in the coffin and Obama bailed out Wall Street while everybody else is screwed. I mean, we’ve seen a real downturn here since 2008, big time. And they’re crowing over the fact that people shouldn’t have voted for Trump. Their electrical grid, it’s taken 45 years to get this terrible. And you’re crowing over the fact that people are dying and they deserve it because it’s a red state. And that just makes me sick because I’ve been all over this country in red states and blue states and there are so many poor people. And that’s just disgusting. And I’m so sick of coaching and coaching in terms like this when we are in meltdown ecologically and as a society. So I don’t know, I feel so much more angry at the vote blue no matter who mean people who crow over people dying in Texas than I do over some Qanon nut. At least the Qanon nut sees that we are in crisis.

Paul Jay

All right, thanks for joining, Ann. And thank you for joining us on theAnalysis.news and we’re going to invite Ann back again to continue our discussion. Please don’t forget the donate button, subscribe, share, and all of that. 

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6 Comments

  1. At Parris Island they taught, when you’re down,  beat, and feel you can’t go on, that’s when you’ve got to be your strongest.  Paul’s guest this segment appears to have this survival instinct without formally having been weaned on it at a boot camp.

    Exposed to the same exasperation with the broken system in Washington, the venerable Ralph Nader just said again — [Paul’s guest knows better] — what Ralph Nader often feels the need to say when government should act, “Leaves Must be Canceled. All Hands on the Congressional Deck.”.

    Paul’s articulate — one has to say courageous and patriotic — guest appears to understand better than Nader that the broken system can offer no hope; despite leading a personal life that rejects hopelessness; cleverly finding somehow a way to survive in England and Wisconsin; and then fight another day with or without Bernie Sanders who has only turned out to be disappointing . [Not to forget, in Europe Bernie Sanders would be a right-wing politician.]

    Looks like Bernie Sanders is the best money can buy at the moment. And that — as Paul’s guest also presumably knows — is simply just not good enough.

  2. Ann’s description of rural life a generation ago, brought to mind the village in Shirley Jackson’s classic horror tale, “The Lottery.” It first appeared in the 26 June 1948 New Yorker magazine. By coincidence, I published a piece yesterday relating “The Lottery” to a modern-day nightmare — deadly results among 30 million people deprived of healthcare coverage in the world’s richest nation: https://medium.com/@idember/lethal-lottery-shirley-jacksons-horror-tale-times-ten-thousand-for-real-f4a48e1d593b.

  3. You (Paul) and Ann M. mused, could Sanders have beaten Trump? The answer: absolutely. I have empirical evidence, such as it may be. During the 2016 primary season I tallied EVERY poll published at Real Clear Politics that included both Sanders and Clinton. I archived the results in spreadsheets, altogether 150+ polls. Sanders outperformed Clinton 90 percent of the time and wiped the floor with Trump (and other GOP candidates) — while Clinton showed disturbing signs of electoral weakness. You can still see summary results posted in real time at my site BernieWorks.com. Yet well meaning voters still said, “I like Bernie but I’m voting for Hillary because she’s more electable.” Tragic does not begin to describe this blunder.

    1. >> The answer: absolutely. I have empirical evidence

      1. First, lots of games going on behind the scenes to make polls wrong or misleading.
      2. Lots of voter suppression and tricks being used to remove voters off the rolls in key locations.
      3. Primary elections have different dynamics than general elections. I know quite a few Democrats that Bernie Sanders repulsed for different reasons.

      I personally lost all interest in Bernie Sanders after being a strong, contributing supporter of him in 2016 when in the 2020 election he failed to say anything different acting like a prima donna. He brought up , or failed to distance himself from, issues like prison voting, then doubled-down on the Democratic Socialist brand and refused to join the Democratic Party and rebrand himself as an FDR Democrat. He wanted badly and actively to lose for some reason.

      Then the idiot Sanders had a heart attack and tried to shrug it off in front of the whole country rather than pull out and send his supporters towards Elizabeth Warren who was better, smarter and faster than he was and more accomplished as well.

      Bet I can figure is Bernie was there as a decoy to make like the Democratic Party was open and interested in Socialism, it’s own FDR legacy, when in fact it was not. And the Democrats made that clear with a whole host of alternative pseudo socialists like Warren, Booker, Harris, Yang, etc to split the Progressive vote and allow Biden, doddering mostly at the time, to come up from behind and grab the moderate majority vote.

      In the Democratic Party is is becoming both increasingly hard and increasingly easy to tell which candidate are actually Democrats. Harder because they lie and say one thing to get elected when we know if they actually win they must swing towards the right. Easier because the still increasing dominance and money in elections makes the numbers just easy to predict … there are no real Democratic candidates any more. The candidates we get are participants in the national political reality to show to convince us and the world that America is a Democracy when it is apparent it is not, and that never was the case.

      1. The Democratic Party is a group of Republicans who woke up and realized that they were in the Democratic Party and that their skills were needed to convince the public there still was a Democratic party – and the job has become nearly impossible considering their own Republican party hates them, but they are contemptuous of the actual people, i.e. populism.

  4. FDR was committed to capitalism, but it did not stop him from pushing our system towards socialism …

    And here is where I keep pushing my main point … capitalism is capitalism … capitalism is not fascist, capitalism is not communist, capitalism is not socialist …. capitalism is a generalize term for a trade and barter economy that brings along with it the question of wealth and power in society.

    Capitalism is the substrate of the economy. China is supposed to be communist, but it is also supremely capitalist. The Scandinavian counties are supposed to be socialist … they all – every one of them have capitalist economies that interact with the world through capitalism. The US is the prime example of capitalism in the world … to Americans, capitalism is like the language of money.

    The point is, that seems intuitively obvious, but that I keep having to point out, that there are in general two “poles” of capitalism, like two poles of a magnetic … there is the elitist / tyranny / fascist pole and the other is the multicultural / democratic / socialist pole.

    The United States has been “we thought all along” in a kind of dynamic tension between the two where eventually the “arc or progress” would move towards socialism/more democracy … but when you look at what actually has happened since FDR, socialism has been vilified on many dimensions, and equated to fascism, tyranny, mob rule … all the negative bad things. That is a fascist pushback in America for over 60 years. Ironic isn’t it that what is taking over, more or less a fascist oligarchy is much worse than anything the Right described to vilify the Left.

    The point of that model is to point out that is was entirely possible – IF WE HAD A SANE, RATIONAL, GOVERNMENT MADE UP OF COMPETENT, PATRIOTIC STATESMEN for capitalism to co-exist with democracy, but the political Right today is dedicated totally against democracy, i.e. they started against the labor unions, social programs, safety net, education, voting, multiculturalism, etc.

    The only possible explanation for the Right today is that they are dedicated towards bringing the US in line with Russia and China as a pseudo slave state with a under-paid slave minority with some facades of democracy, generally seen through by the rest of the Western world. But the same economic forces in the US that are causing the US to devolve into what it is going through will eventually be metastasizing to the rest of the Western World – so this includes everybody!

    Why are they doing this? Because the “military junta” that runs the US feels it is losing its grasp on power and will not be able to control everything if it has to pay for the sins of the past, and the hopes for the future. There is some legitimacy there because as the US goes through this turmoil we are vulnerable to attack and chaos, especially now that we are so wedded to the Internet.

    The solution would be for everyone to calm down, for the Left to stop its hundreds or whines and complaints and prioritize the basics – leaving the military industrial congressional, corporate, complex alone and unthreatened – at least the time being. Settle on the “must-haves”, like health-care, education, voting rights, labor unions, safety-net, and leave things like attacking the military that could be construed as the agenda of our enemies alone.

    This is along the lines of what President Biden is attempting to do … support the moderate points
    of the Democrats and leave the crazy behind. theAnalysis.News know all about crazy I see … but the problem is Republicans feel everything Democrats want is crazy, including voting, education, infrastructure, safety-net …. the whole ball of wax most of the rest of us call America.

    If Ann Morrison wants a democratic socialist American ( not necessary a Bernie Sanders Democratic-Socialist American – but close with different branding ) then we have to get your loonies from the Left to drop your deliberately incendiary crazy and focus on the priorities of a decent civilized society.

    The Right has been left alone and hidden for so long they have really rotted out the guts of this country, so it is not trivial job of just showing up to vote for which hired hand of the corporatocracy can fool you better … we have to find a way to create a consensus, that polls tell us already exists, and then focus it in a civilized way towards the institutions that still exist and can be used to bring about democracy change … if there are any left.

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